Monday, November 26, 2007
Alexandra Nechita
You might know her as "The Petite Picasso." But Alexandra Nechita's artistic accomplishments are anything but small, and her style is all her own.

Nechita's family escaped communist Romania for the U.S. when she was 2 years old. At 7, Alexandra was painting with oils and acrylics, and her first exhibit was a solo show at a public library in Los Angeles, California, when she was just 8 years old. Now 22, she attracts crowds worldwide for her exhibitions and brings in thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars for her paintings.

Recently selected by the World Federation of United Nations Associations to lead a Global Arts Initiative, Nechita is expanding her reach to more than 100 countries. With very little formal training, she has more than achieved the financial security her family sought 20 years ago. She knew that her career had passed the point of child prodigy when people looked at her art and said, "That's a Nechita."

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
Monday, November 19, 2007
Dave Lieberman
Most guys try and whip something together in their first kitchen in college when they move off campus. Usually their cuisine consists of ingredients you can't pronounce that come straight out of a box, and the end product doesn't really impress. Not so for Dave Lieberman.

While he was still in college, Lieberman started a Connecticut public access cooking show -- "Campus Cuisine." He opened his own campus catering service. His shtick: good food that won't break the bank.

Now, two cookbooks in and the youngest host ever on the Food Network, Dave is helping college guys actually whip up something eatable in that first kitchen. Something that's easy and fancy-sounding at the same time: celery bleu cheese salad, chicken in BBQ sauce, and poached salmon.


Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
Monday, November 12, 2007
Matthew and Emily Leinwand
Doing hospital rounds with dad could have been boring. But for Matthew and Emily Leinwand, the experience was inspirational. They wanted to cheer up the kids at the hospital with something simple: crayons.

From that idea and an empty box on their front porch in 2001, Matthew and Emily started Crayons4Kids. Since then, they have collected more than 100,000 new crayons and 7,000 coloring books as well as nearly 1,000 baby rattles and 2,500 new toys and games.

Now, Matthew, 11, and Emily, 12, want to deliver gifts beyond their local pediatric hospital. They've seen the smiles and felt the hugs. These siblings are hoping to deliver that happiness to more hospital beds across America.


Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Melinda Doolittle
She auditioned for "American Idol" with the Stevie Wonder song "For Once in My Life." We know what happened next. Melinda Doolittle finished as the third place finalist of the sixth season of the show.

But what "Idol" fans might not know is that Melinda Doolittle isn't content with limiting herself to entertainment. During her rapid rise to stardom she threw her support behind a cause that wasn't so "celebre" -- malaria. With Malaria No More, Doolittle traveled with first lady Laura Bush to Zambia and other countries in the "malaria belt" of Africa to raise awareness of the disease.

She believes that malaria can be eradicated -- with medicine to treat the disease and with insecticides and bed nets to prevent it in the first place. Doolittle's goal is to help eliminate malaria once and for all in her lifetime.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
ABOUT THIS BLOG

Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on CNN.com Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.
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